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    Author(s): Jeremiah D. Groom; Sherri L. Johnson; Joshua D. Seeds; George G. Ice
    Date: 2017
    Source: JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 53(4): 761-773.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (436.0 KB)


    We present the results of a replicated before-after-control-impact study on 33 streams to test the effectiveness of riparian rules for private and State forests at meeting temperature criteria in streams in western Oregon. Many states have established regulatory temperature thresholds, referred to as numeric criteria, to protect cold-water fishes such as salmon and trout. We examined across-year and within-year patterns of exceedance at control and treatment stream temperature probes. Determining whether an exceedance at the downstream end of a harvest was unambiguously related to harvest proved surprisingly difficult. The likelihood of a site exceeding its numeric criterion appeared related, in part, to the site’s preharvest temperature range. Four control reaches as well as three preharvest treatment reaches exceeded their numeric criteria, necessitating additional analysis to evaluate timber harvest impacts. Nine percent of sites (3 of 33) both exceeded their numeric criteria and exhibited a potential harvest effect (16.7% of private sites [3 of 18], 0% of State sites [0 of 15]). After harvest, exceedances were typically observed in only the first of the two post-harvest years. These findings highlight the importance of including temporal and spatial controls in temperature assessments of numeric criteria when the assessment’s purpose is to determine whether exceedances are related to human activities.

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    Groom, Jeremiah D.; Johnson, Sherri L.; Seeds, Joshua D.; Ice, George G. 2017. Evaluating links between forest harvest and stream temperature threshold exceedances: the value of spatial and temporal data. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 53(4): 761-773.


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    monitoring, environmental regulations, nonpoint source pollution, temperature, best management practices, forest harvest.

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